The Chevrolet Corvette C8.R will be the first Corvette Racing car designed from the ground up to meet the FIA’s revised aerodynamic rules for the GTE class, which were first introduced in 2016.
As Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner explained to us during an interview at the recent 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the Corvette C7.R was heavily updated to adhere to the FIA’s 2016 aerodynamic regulations. Obviously updating an older car to fit new aero rules is not ideal, as the car was originally designed around a different set of regulations. With the Corvette C8.R, though, the team was able to design the car to the proper aerodynamic specification from the ground up.
“It’s the little details on this car (the C8.R) that matter,” Milner said. “A challenge with C7 (was) the car was built in 2014. There was an (aerodynamic) evolution in 2016…wider rear wing, added canards/dive plans in the front to add significantly more downforce… because regulations changed to allow more freedom from an aero standpoint. It was not possible for us to totally redesign the whole car to take advantage of those modified aero rules, so this is for us the first time building to a rule set that allows for maximum downforce.”
With the C8.R being designed specifically to meet these higher downforce regulations, along with its mid-engine platform and new DOHC 5.5-liter flat-plane-crank V8, Corvette Racing should have a much more competitive race car for 2020 and beyond. Like any new race car, there may be a few teething issues with the C8.R early on, but once the kinks are ironed out, the team should be able to capitalize on the car’s advantages and compete for wins, podiums and the driver’s and manufacturer’s championships.
The first race for the Corvette C8.R will be the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona in January. It will unfortunately be competing in a dwindled GTLM field in the IMSA WeatherTech series next year, however, with Ford having pulled the factory backing for its sports-car racing venture and Chip Ganassi Racing electing not to continue the Ford GT program as a result.